Pipeline, dam await B.C. government direction

Christy Clark says no deal for government to face early vote

NDP leader John Horgan says he’s willing to meet with Premier Christy Clark on the transition to a new minority government, which he said is being “delayed unduly” while the B.C. Liberals reconvene the legislature.

Clark said Thursday decisions need to be made this month on permits and other pressing issues for the Site C hydroelectric dam and the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion, two multi-billion-dollar projects that have been caught up in the lengthy uncertainty following the near-tie in the May 9 B.C. election.

Horgan sidestepped the question of whether permits should be issued in June, with the earliest date for a non-confidence vote likely to be June 29. If the B.C. Liberal government is defeated then, Horgan would have to choose a cabinet and have ministers sworn in before action could be taken.

B.C. Liberal and NDP MLAs took their oaths of office at the B.C. legislature Thursday, preparing for the new session starting June 22 that will likely result in an NDP minority government.

The NDP MLAs were greeted with cheers from a packed public gallery, while the B.C. Liberal ceremony was a sombre affair, with few guests in attendance.

Clark said the final decision on transfer of power to an NDP-Green alliance is up to Lt. Gov. Judith Guichon, who could choose to call another election to break an almost deadlocked legislature.

Clark declined to comment on whether the B.C. Liberals will appoint a speaker from their 43 MLAs. She said co-operation between the B.C. Liberals and NDP is not likely, either in selecting a speaker or presenting a throne speech, where government lays out its priorities and the opposition has its first chance to defeat the government in a confidence vote.

B.C. Liberal house leader Mike de Jong said there are clear traditions to follow.

“If there is to be a transition, and it appears that is likely, there is a correct and proper way for that to happen,” de Jong said. “The responsibility falls to the party that wishes to govern to ensure there is someone in the [speaker’s] chair.”

A throne speech delivered on June 22 would require a minimum number of days of debate.

“The opposition has the means of tabling an amendment after the second day of debate,” de Jong said. “That amendment is a confidence matter, and there is ultimately a vote at the conclusion of debate on the fourth day.”

Since the legislature doesn’t sit on Fridays, that means the B.C. Liberal government could be defeated as early as Thursday, June 29.

Just Posted

Glacier Gymnastics big winner in annual grant funding

Columbia Basin Trust doled out $1.4 million in grants to the regional organizations

Procter working to reopen community bakery

The Procter Community Society is fundraising upwards of $100,000 for the project

Kaslo bus fueled by vegetable oil to begin service next month

Mountain Man Mike’s will run routes to Vancouver and eventually Edmonton

KAST receives $15,000 for inclusive programs at Nelson Tech Club

‘These programs will be a perfect introduction to using technology’

Nelson to send two musicians to provincial Festival of The Arts

Lucas Alexander and Nico Bucher will compete in Chilliwack later this month

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read